I stayed at the Warrnambool beach backpackers, which is just a few metres from the turnaround point, the far bottom left of the route map, above. I’d walked the course, or what I thought was the course, yesterday – actually there are two paths to the left of the lake, and I was on the wrong one. It’s the one further from the lake. But no matter, I knew what to expect, and where to turn.
Not that it proved difficult on the day. The event has run 60 times, often with a slowish first finisher, so I wondered if I might be out front. Alright, let’s be honest, I hoped I would be. But it is holiday season – the enormous caravan park by the sea, opposite the start point, is full. FULL, I tell you, of people sitting around outside their tents and caravans. And enough of them, or other visitors, joined in that I was 6th today. In the 26th quickest time so far run on the course. Which is not to say that I was hugely quick (19:28), but still, pick a different weekend and it would be right up there.
After a couple of early twists, taking you over the bridges – you can see the first left turn pretty clearly on the map above – you are onto the path shown above here. All my pictures of the course were taken the day before, in sun. On Saturday we had some drizzle, but it was still very pretty.
From there, it’s either grass or gravelly path, and almost flat other than a rise before you bear left to head through a chicane to the turnaround point. The lake is off to the left on the way out, the right on the way back. Despite the business of the town and campsite at this time of year, where the run goes is a very quiet area for some contemplation.
Just North of the course is the railway line and station. It is used, but quiet, so you can stroll across after a check.
Anyway, nothing to do with the run – if you get to the railway, you’ve taken a right turn on the way out, head back into the park, turn right and head along the gravel path. Lovely run, scenic place, friendly people. Go out of season, and for now at least, you’ve a shot at finishing higher than I did, though this is a destination run for tourists from all over.
I cooled down with a run South, towards the sea, and Thunder point, which is very scenic. The wind picked up and the rain was at times heavy, so I popped back later for a walk and to take photos.